Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew d'Ancona is a British journalist. A former deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph, he was appointed editor of The Spectator
The Spectator
The Spectator is a weekly British magazine first published on 6 July 1828. It is currently owned by David and Frederick Barclay, who also owns The Daily Telegraph. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture...

in February 2006, a post he retained until August 2009.

Early life

D'Ancona's father came from Malta to Britain to study and ended up playing professional football for Newcastle before becoming a civil servant. According to d'Ancona, his father was also many times Maltese tennis champion. His mother was an English teacher.


D'Ancona was educated at St Dunstan's College
St Dunstan's College
St Dunstan's College is a co-educational independent school in London, England. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and was an all-boys establishment until 1994...

, an independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

 for boys (now co-educational) in Catford
Catford is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.-Architecture:...

 in south London, where he was head boy and captain of judo. He also showed an early aptitude for journalism by winning an essay writing competition on the subject of the future of British industry run by the Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

. He went up to Magdalen College
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

 at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, where he took the top First in Modern History for his year in 1989. The same year, he was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford
All Souls College, Oxford
The Warden and the College of the Souls of all Faithful People deceased in the University of Oxford or All Souls College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England....


Life and career

After a year studying medieval confession
This article is for the religious practice of confessing one's sins.Confession is the acknowledgment of sin or wrongs...

, he joined the magazine Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship is a campaigning publishing organisation for freedom of expression, which produces an award-winning quarterly magazine of the same name from London. The present chief executive of Index on Censorship, since 2008, is the author, broadcaster and commentator John Kampfner, former...

, before proceeding to The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

as a trainee. There he rose swiftly to become Education Correspondent and then Assistant Editor at the age of 26.

He joined The Sunday Telegraph in 1996 as deputy comment editor and columnist, before becoming Deputy Editor. He has written a weekly political column in The Sunday Telegraph for a decade. He succeeded Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

 as editor of The Spectator, and made some major structural changes to the magazine, not all of which were universally popular with readers. On August 28, 2009, it was announced that d'Ancona would be stepping down as editor to be replaced by Fraser Nelson
Fraser Nelson
Fraser Nelson is a British political journalist and editor of The Spectator magazine.-Early life:Educated at Nairn Academy and Dollar Academy, Nelson went on to study History at the University of Glasgow and Journalism at City University, London....

. It was immediately unclear what his future plans would be. Private Eye reported in its issue of September 15 that D'Ancona had been sacked as editor although it did not elaborate in the reasons. Shortly afterwards, he was snapped up by the Evening Standard
Evening Standard
The Evening Standard, now styled the London Evening Standard, is a free local daily newspaper, published Monday–Friday in tabloid format in London. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London...

 as a weekly columnist, so far appearing on a Monday. The same newspaper reported in late October 2009 that d'Ancona was set to become a Hollywood scriptwriter for a film about the art historian Bernard Berenson
Bernard Berenson
Bernard Berenson was an American art historian specializing in the Renaissance. He was a major figure in pioneering art attribution and therefore establishing the market for paintings by the "Old Masters".-Personal life:...

. He is also reportedly writing a History of England with John Cleese
John Cleese
John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report...


While not himself a believer, d'Ancona is also the author of two books on early Christian theology, The Jesus Papyrus and The Quest for the True Cross. He has written three novels, Going East, Tabatha's Code and Nothing to Fear.

D'Ancona has also written several articles for the British political magazine Prospect
Prospect (magazine)
Prospect is a monthly British general interest magazine, specialising in politics and current affairs. Frequent topics include British, European, and US politics, social issues, art, literature, cinema, science, the media, history, philosophy, and psychology...


External links

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